Flooding has affected a number of areas throughout Northern Ireland causing disruption and the Public Health Agency (PHA) is reminding people of the potential public health risks associated with such severe weather.
Dr Anne Wilson, Public Health Consultant for the PHA, said: "In relation to flooding, the risk of contracting illness is generally low. However, as it is not always clear whether water is contaminated or not, the public are urged to exercise caution and assume that flood water is contaminated."
Dr Wilson continued: "You can take a number of precautions to prevent health problems if there is a flood situation in your home."
• Wherever possible try to avoid coming into direct contact with floodwater;
• Do not let children play in floodwater;
• Use rubber gloves when cleaning up;
• Wash hands after being in contact with flood water, sewage or anything contaminated by these;
• Wash children’s hands regularly;
• Clean toys that have been in flood water with disinfectant;
• Cover cuts or open sores;
• Don’t eat any food that has been in contact with flood water;
• Clean all surfaces with disinfectant before any food is placed on them;
• Contact your GP if you or a relative develops a stomach upset following flooding.
Dr Wilson concluded: "The PHA has been working closely with multi-agency partners to continue to monitor the situation across Northern Ireland. Work is ongoing to prioritise those areas most in need of assistance thereby ensuring the health of the public is not adversely affected."
If flooding occurs in your local area contact the Flooding Incident Helpline on 0300 2000 100 immediately. This service is available 24 hours a day everyday of the year.
Additional health advice is included on:
The latest weather advice can be found at:
For further information contact: PHA Press office on 028 9031 1611.